Issue: 9.5 (July/August 2011)
Author: Dave Mancuso
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,027
Starting Page Number: 12
RBD Number: 9502
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IN BRIEF Product Arbed Manufacturer Thomas Tempelmann Price Main features are free; advanced features require license at $195 Contact Info http://www.tempel.org/Arbed/ Pros Clean design; works well; clear on what the application does and what is being developed for future versions Cons Some features still in development, but close to release. Rating (1.0-5.0): 4.5
At the March ARBP (Association of REALbasic Professionals) Real Studio Summit, a new tool was presented by Thomas Tempelmann to work with Real Studio projects. Part of the "Tools Beyond the IDE" segment of the Summit, Arbed promised to be a code editor beyond the Real Studio-supplied code editor and more.
Arbed is found at Thomas Tempelmann's developer website (http://www.tempel.org). Background information for the product is clear and simple. It was easy to download the application. It's a single app, no need for an installer—it's a drag-installed application. The instructions and the manual on the website are clear and best used as you explore the program. The initial window is a launch pad for your Real Studio files; simply drag a file into the desired section of the window and you're working with your code. In addition to the project Editor, the Project Comparison and Search Multiple Projects section provide these helpful features instantly. Preparing for Localization is another valuable feature, as is the Externals Browser, which help you analyze how your project uses external files and where they are on your hard drive.
Arbed also converts and exports your project in several different formats: .rbp, .html, and .xml, and .vcp is in development for a future release.
Arbed provides backup tools to help with versioning. It lets you back up things incrementally in its "Vault" format, something that's not readable by Real Studio but is text-readable by the user.
The application is very straightforward and easy to use from the start. I couldn't find anything to fault in Arbed. The things it's targeted to do are very specific; it's a well-focused application. It was very easy to find and use every feature of the program. Everything is right there for the user to explore.
Thomas does note that your should not be editing your project file simultaneously in the Real Studio IDE editor and Arbed's editor, since the changes you make with Arbed won't show up in the Real Studio IDE until you refresh it (by closing and opening it again, defeating any purpose in keeping the project open in the IDE).
Essentially, it seems like Thomas took all the things he wanted the Real Studio IDE editor to do and fleshed them out in Arbed. The application is tightly targeted to perform specific tasks, such as finding all the strings in your project and automatically creating dynamic constants for them (for localizing), powerful find/replace features, and it performs them well. The app is even scriptable, so you can automate its features. Best of all, the main features are free to try until you need advanced features and purchase the licensed version of Arbed. Thomas is a communicative developer in the Real Studio community and will discuss Arbed and its features openly. Having such productive access to a developer is another attractive feature of Arbed.
Arbed is certainly recommended to try, and when you need its more advanced features, recommended to buy.
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